About the People's Health Movement

On this page:

1. What is the People's Health Movement - PHM

2. Structure of PHM

3. PHM as driver for change

4. Governance Structure

 

1. What is the People’s Health Movement – PHM

The PHM is a global network bringing together grassroots health activists, civil society organizations and academic institutions from around the world, particularly from low and middle income countries (L&MIC). We currently have a presence in around 70 countries. Guided by the People’s Charter for Health (PCH), PHM works on various programmes and activities and is committed to Comprehensive Primary Health Care and addressing the Social, Environmental and Economic Determinants of Health.

 

 PHM

The world is facing a global health crisis characterized by growing inequities within and among nations and millions of preventable deaths, especially among the poor.  These are in large degree due to unfair economic structures which lock people into poverty and poor health. In 2000, concerned activists, academics and health workers got together for the first People’s Health Assembly. The People’s Charter for Health (PCH), our founding document was developed and PHM was born.

 

PCH

The People’s Charter for Health – PCH, is the framework within which PHM acts and offers strategic guidance to the movement.  It is both a tool for advocacy and a framework for action. By endorsing the Charter one becomes part of PHM. The PCH endorses the Alma Ata declaration, and affirms health as a social, economic and political issue but above all, a fundamental human right.

 Vision of PHM: "Equity, ecologically-sustainable development and peace are at the heart of our vision of a better world - a world in which a healthy life for all is a reality; a world that respects, appreciates and celebrates all life and diversity; a world that enables the flowering of people's talents and abilities to enrich each other; a world in which people's voices guide the decisions that shape our lives...."

 

Objectives:

  • To promote Health for All through an equitable, participatory and inter-sectoral movement and as a Rights Issue.
  •  To advocate for government and other health agencies to ensure universal access to quality health care, education and social services according to people's needs and not their ability to pay.
  • To promote the participation of people and people's organisations in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of all health and social policies and programmes.
  • To promote health along with equity and sustainable development as top priorities in local, national and international policymaking.
  • To encourage people to develop their own solutions to local health problems.
  • To hold local authorities, national governments, international organisations and corporations accountable.

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2. Structure of PHM

PHM is a network of networks, organisations and individuals with some centrally supported programs (for more information refer below). As a movement, we do not follow rigid structures, but broadly speaking PHM is structured as follows:  

 

2.1 Country Circles

On country level, PHM manifest in the form of groups coming together nationally or locally. Country circles or sometimes called ‘local chapters’ grow according to the country’s need; they are most often loose networks which come together for joint action around specific issues, but can be formalised and legalised as an organisation. There is no set way on how PHM organises locally as this depends on the local context, chosen activities and the circumstances of the people building PHM.

PHM PakistanPHM BangladeshPHM IndiaPHM DRC

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2 Regional PHM

Regionally, PHM aims to build coalitions and networks to encourage support, sharing and learning. Regional collaboration also offers a platform for organising and advocacy on regional and global health governance. It builds solidarity around issues specific to the region and a strong base for action (locally, regionally and globally).

The main tasks for regional structures are:

  • supporting country circle development
  • supporting communication and collaboration between countries
  • supporting two way communication between countries and global actions and structures
  • strengthening representativeness and mutual accountability

PHM LA

The way each region coordinates itself, is defined by the needs and context of the region. Centrally PHM aims to employ regional coordinators for each region. So far only Africa and the Middle East Regions have such coordinator.

 Each PHM region is represented in the Global Steering Council.

  Click here for contact details of your regional representative and regional outreach coordinators.

 

 

2.3 Campaign circles 

Within PHM there is space for setting up campiagn circles, which ideally should be driven by people working on / more involved with the respective issues.

 Currently following circles are have been formed:

Trade and Health: contact details: David Legge:D.legge [@] latrobe.edu.au

Gender Health Justice: contact details: Sarojini N.B. : sarojinipr [@] gmail.com

Extractive Industries: contact details: Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay: b.mukhopadhyay [@] gmail.com

CLICK HERE for the website of the Extractive Industries Circle

Fair and Healthy Work: contat details: Dorothy Tegeler: dorothy [@] hesperian.org

CLICK HERE for the website of the Fair and Healthy Work Circle

For more information in general on the thematic groups, feel free to contact

Susane Barria on sbarria [@] phmovement.org

Anneleen De Keukelaere on anneleen [@] phmovement.org

 

2.4 Affiliated networks

Some local, regional or global networks have affiliated with the PHM.

Please find below a list of the PHM affiliated networks with a link to their website and to their profile

  • International People’s Health Council – IPHC– For profile Click here

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3. PHM as a driver for change

The core work of PHM is that of its constituent parts, in particular the country circles and the international networks. As a network organization, it provides communication channels and opportunities that link the very diverse elements of the larger movement. PHM Global also supports ad hoc policy work and campaigning on various issues and topics on the global policy agenda. There has been a continuous flow of publications, submissions and statements arising from this kind of policy coordination.

 

3.1 Centrally supported programs

PHM Global coordinates a number of programs at global and regional levels that integrate the efforts of the country circles and global networks such as:

  • People’s Health Assembly (PHA) held approximately every five years, which draws in civil society organizations and networks, social movements, academia and other stakeholders from around the globe. The PHA provides a unique space for sharing experiences, mutual learning and joint strategizing for future actions. The first PHA was held in Savar, Bangladesh in December 2000 and was attended by more than 1453 people from 75 countries; the People’s Charter for Health was developed and endorsed at PHA1. The second Assembly was held in Cuenca, Ecuador in July 2005 and attended by 1492 people from 92 countries. The third Assembly was held in Cape Town (South Africa) 6-11 2012 and attended by about 1000 people from over 90 countries.
  • Global Health Watch (GHW) as an alternative World Health Report. Three reports have been published (GHW1,GHW2 and GHW3) in 2005, 2008 and late 2011 respectively. GHW3 was launched at the conference of Social Determinants of Health, Brazil, October 2011. GHW4 is being worked on now and planned to be released in 2015.
  • International People’s Health University (IPHU) is PHM’s main educational and research program. The IPHU has organized 20 short courses entitled ‘The Struggle for Health’ of 2-week duration each. The courses have been organized in over 15 countries so far, in 9 languages and attended by about 1000 health activists from more than 60 countries. Many of these participants form the core of country circle organising and activities.
  • The Health for All Campaign (HFAC) is a global organising framework for different mobilisation actions by civil society networks and social movements around the world and aims to inform and influence governments to address structural and systemic weaknesses in the health system. The campaign was initiated following the success of the Indian RTHC campaign, which used participatory surveys, public hearings and the documentation of cases of denial combined with mass mobilization to inform and influence government to address structural and systemic weaknesses in the health system, particularly in rural areas.

 

IPHU  GHW3  RTHSA  PHA3 Cape Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 PHM as a platform for analysis, campaigning, mobilising, advocacy and resistance

Practically this translates to: marching

  • Sharing and/or developing resources including analysis of issues of interest to PHM e.g. analysis of WHO World Health Assembly and Executive Board resolutions and agenda discussion items. 
  • Building networks between organisation and individuals for campaigning around jointly identified issues.
  • Reaching out to communities for awareness raising and mobilising
  • Actions of country, regional and global solidarity
  • Organising training for advocacy such as the IPHU

 

Some examples are:

RTH India

  • Indian RTH Campaign: demanding accountability
  • Guatemala health promoters: community involvement
  • Ecuador mobilisation around extractive industries 
  • Solidarity actions in South Africa against xenophobia

 

 

 

 

 

 Several of PHM’s programs provide space for the development of PHM as a platform for action.

  • The Health for All Campaign will aim to build networks for joint action and links between communities across the world to raise awareness and mobilise around the need to work towards achieving Health For All Now!.
  • The International People’s Health University in addition to providing young activists with content information around issues such as globalisation and trade agreements, health systems, social determinants of health, etc, also provides training in analysis and advocacy.  
  • In addition to being a resource for information, current research and alternative analysis of issues, GHW provides a framework for solidarity and tools for action.

PHM’s actions are not limited to the programs centrally coordinated by PHM. PHM is a social movement and therefore provides space and where possible support to all actions that fall within the framework of the People’s Charter for Health organised at the community, national, regional or global level.

 

3.3 PHM as network builder, building solidarity and collaboration

PHM facilitates to build networks and solidarity between different struggles, networks and movements, between countries and across different constituencies.

 This involves

networking at PHA3

  • building personal relationships within and across boundaries (languages, issues, struggles, gender, race, etc)
  • encouraging dialogue, listening and respect
  • sharing of experiences, stories and struggles
  • Giving background to the bigger picture in which the connections and networks are more evident
  • collaborative action     

 

 

 

 

 Some examples are:

iphu face to face

  • RTHC campaign in West and Central Africa
  • links between health activists and trade activists
  • links with labour movement in UK, South Africa, etc
  • involvement in right to food campaign

 

 

 

 

 

Although most of above happens at a local level, centrally PHM offers some platforms to facilitate above. These are the website, facebook page, the RTH campaigns, the country pages on the PHM website, the newsletter, press releases  and the PHM exchange.

PHM creates also opportunities for health activists from across the world to meet face to face during for example the IPHU’s or the WHO Watch. Locally, PHM activist set up civil society meeting under the umbrella of PHM.

PHM is about building alliances and networks with likeminded activists and organisations, it is about finding that common ground to make change, to build solidarity, share experiences and fight for Health for All. Locally as well as globally, people part of PHM spread the message of PHM and are building the movement creating momentum for change.   

 

3.4 PHM as a bridge between the local and the global

 More specifically this entails:

  • supporting the articulation of grass roots perspectives in global forums
  • highlighting the ways in which local issues reflect global dynamics
  • providing analysis and resources that inform local activists about global policies and events affecting countries and local communities;
  • increasing capacity of local activists to understand and engage with global issues

  PHM Africa regionIPHU  Voices at global forumVoices at global forum

 

 

 

 

 

PHM aims to be such a bridge by

  • developing our analysis of the bigger picture in which the links between the local and the global are evident
  • sharing this bigger picture analysis
  • training and capacity building

Some examples are

  • IP campaigning in India (2005 amendments to the Indian Patent ACT)
  • WHO Watch: building the links between global and local (PHM Ghana)
  • Guatemala IPHU with focus on interculturality
  • PHM’s involvement in monitoring and evaluation of IHP+ - pushing for country level engagement

Centrally PHM offers following platforms to encourage this function of the movement: WHO watch, the newsletter, the RTHC with both WHO Watch and IPHU increasing capacity of young activists to engage in global issues. PHM also facilitates and advocates for grassroots perspectives to be reflected in relevant regional and global forums.

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4. Governance Structure

In late 2010, a governance renewal process was proposed and agreed. Since then and in the lead up to the Third People’s Health Assembly, PHM has been going through a renewal process in which a wide range of constituencies were engaged including the country and regional structures and affiliated networks.   Please find an overview of the new structure which was instituted from July 2012 below:

 

4.1 Global Steering Council

The PHM global governance renewal process aims to ensure representation of active PHM structures in the Steering Council; to encourage the development of young leadership while honouring experience; and to include principles of transparency, renewal and participation. This resulted in some SC members stepping down allowing space for young health activists who have demonstrated commitment and capacity within their region and globally.

The SC is the principal decision making body of PHM. The main task of the SC is to provide strategic guidance to the movement, promoting the People’s Charter for Health, developing positions and ensuring fluent two way communications between the PHM and the region/network/program they represent. Communication with country circles is an important function of regional representatives.

PHM aims to have at last one face to face meeting per year but that is dependent on sufficient funding. Decisions between meetings are made using email and Skype and are supported by advice from the CoCo.

SC

The Global Steering Council now consists of representatives of

  • The regional structures of the PHM (each region is constituted  by one or more country circle),
  • PHM global programs,
  • PHM affiliated networks, and
  • Chairperson of Advisory Council

 

 

 

 

A principle of rotation has been build into the new governance structure, recognising a need for both continuity and change. As such, each Committee would function for 3 years, and no person would be on the committee for more than two terms. Representation would rotate between different active countries in a region and between networks.

Please find below the email addresses of the confirmed new SC representatives. We will continue to update this as representation is finalised.

 

Regional Representatives

Sub Saharan Africa

David Sander

sandersdav5845 [at] gmail.com

West and central Africa

Rudolf Abugnaba

abugnaba [at] gmail.com

South Asia

Qasem Chowdhury

qasemchowdhury [at] yahoo.com

South East Asia

Delen de la Paz

delen27 [at] yahoo.com

Middle East

Ghassan Hamdan

ghassan.a.hamdan [at] gmail.com

Central America

Hugo Icu

icuperen [at] yahoo.com

South America

Vivi Camacho

camachovivian [at] hotmail.com

Brazil

Camila Gugliani

giugli [at] hotmail.com

India

Sarojini N.B.

sarojinipr [at] gmail.com

Europe

Chiara Bodini

chiara.bodini [at] unibo.it

North America

Leigh Haynes

leigh.kamore [at] gmail.com

Programme Representatives

HFA

Claudio Schuftan

Cschuftan [at] phmovement.org

WHO Watch

John Mahama

Jmahama [at] gmail.com

IPHU

David Legge (TBC)

D.Legge [at ] latrobe.edu.au

GHW

Amit Sengupta

Asengupta [at] phmovement.org

Network Representatives

M3M

Wim De Ceukelaire

Wim [@] g3w.be

Alames

Mauricio Torres

maot99 [@] yahoo.es

TWN

K M Gopakumar

Kmgkumar [@] gmail.com

HAI Global

Tim Reed

Tim [@] haiglobal.org

MMI

Andreas Wulf

Wulf [@] medico.de

Ex officio

Past Coordinator

Hani Serag

Hserag [at] phmovement.org

Current coordinator

Bridget Lloyd

Blloyd [at] phmovement.org

Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Fran Baum fbaum [at] phmovement.or

 

4.2 Coordinating Commission (CoCo)

The Coordinating Commission is the 7 person executive body of the SC, that is appointed by the SC and includes the two co-chairs of the SC. CoCo meets over Skype once a month and guides the work of the global secretariat within the framework set by the SC.

CoCo is made up of:

David Sanders, Camila Giugliani, Sarojini N.B., Mauricio Torres, David Legge, Wim De Ceuckelaire, Fran Baum.

 

4.3 Advisory Council

There are a number of people who have informed PHM’s positions and been central to the development of PHM since inception. To ensure continued utilisation of the wisdom and guidance of some of these long standing members of PHM, an Advisory Council has been constituted, This is a formal and recognised structure, with the chairperson a member of the SC. Please refer to below for further details

 The Advisory Council Members are:

  • Prem John: premchandranjohn [@] gmail.com
  • Ravi Nayaran: chcravi [@] gmail.com
  • Alexis Benos: abenos [@] phmovement.org
  • Fran Baum: fbaum [@] phmovement.org
  • Mira Shiva: mirashiva [at] gmail.com
  • Maria Zuniga: : mhamlin [at] phmovement.org
  • Zafrullah Chowdhurry: zaf.chowdhurry [at] gmail.com
  • Sarah Shannon: sarahs [at] hesperian.org
  • Jihad Mashal: jihadmashal [at] yahoo.com
  • Maija kagis: maija.kagis [at] simpatico.ca

CLICK HERE for more information on the role and function of the Advisory Committee - the Bios of advisory council will be made available soon.

 

4.4 Networks

As part of the governance renewal process, PHM has reviewed and expanded affiliated networks. The following are the networks that have endorsed their affiliation to PHM. Four of these will serve on the SC on a rotational basis.

 CLICK HERE for the full list of network profiles

 

4.5 Global Secretariat

The Global Secretariat is the executive body of the PHM. Currently PHM had three secretariat offices in Cape Town (South Africa), Delhi (India) and Cairo (Egypt). Discussions have been initiated within the SC, and will be continued in Latin America, about the possibility of having a fourth secretariat in Latin America.

The current three global co-ordinators are:

  • Bridget Lloyd: blloyd [@} phmovement.org
  • Hani Serag: hserag [@] phmovement.org
  • Amit Sengupta: asengupta [@] phmovement.org

It needs to be noted that the employed staff of PHM are small in number, and likewise acknowledged that PHM draws heavily on the use of volunteers. All people on the Steering Council, CoCo and the Advisory Council are volunteers. Many of our programmes such as the International People’s Health University and WHO Watch also draw heavily on volunteers

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